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Black History Month Resource Guide

Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts

Bill Hawkins surrounded by a large group individuals.










Black History Month February 2024: African Americans and the Arts [Smithsonian]

The 2024 theme is "African Americans and the Arts" spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more. Pictured: Disc Jockey Bill “Hawk” Hawkins and his fan club in a jam session, 1940s-50s. Photograph by Mitchell Studios. Gift of W. Allen Taylor, son of "Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins," The First Black Disc Jockey of Cleveland, Ohio Celebrate Black History Month with Smithsonian events, resources, exhibitions, and podcasts.

Celebrate Black History Month 2024

Carter G WoodsonCelebrate Black History Month 2024 [National Museum of African American History & Culture]

African American artists — poets, writers, visual artists, and dancers — have historically served as change agents through their crafts.

Drawn from their ancestors' ancient rites of passage and the shared hopes of liberty, Black artists continue to fuse the rhythmic cadence of creative expressions with the pulsating beats of progress. The NMAAHC museum celebrates Black History Month 2024 by highlighting the ‘art of resistance’ and the artists who used their crafts to uplift the race, speak truth to power and inspire a nation.

Pictured: Carter G. Woodson developed the idea for Negro History Week to promote the history, culture and achievements of African Americans and other people of color worldwide.   

Celebrating Black Music Month with the National Museum of African American History & Culture

Janelle Monáe on stageCelebrating Black Music Month with the National Museum of African American History & Culture

June is African American Music Appreciation Month! Created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month celebrates the African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage.

Formerly called National Black Music Month, this celebration of African American musical contributions is re-established annually by presidential proclamation. Though by no means exhaustive, we’ve prepared a primer that will guide you through some of the different genres that African Americans have created, inspired and fostered.

Celebrating Black History Month with Queens Public Library

Celebrating Black History Month with Queens Public Library: African Americans and the Arts Celebrating Black History Month 2024 with Queens Public Library

This Black History Month, join Queens Public Library as we celebrate African Americans and the Arts! From the birth of Blues and Jazz to the heights of the Harlem Renaissance, Hip Hop, Afrofuturism, and more, Black Art has had a significant impact on our nation, our culture, and our world.

Use our Black History Month Journal's daily prompts to think about the past, present, and future of Black Art and Black Artists. Plus, you can read about milestone moments in Black Art History, learn about Black Art Icons, and more! There is exclusive Black History Month content that you can only find in the Journal, so pick up a copy at your local library or
download it here.

28 Days of Black History (2024)

Black and white photographs depict Black artists and dancers. Celebrate Black history and future through the Anti-Racism Daily's daily newsletter series in February entitled "28 Days of Black History". Great for students, workplaces, and passionate learners. The theme for 2024 is "African Americans and the Arts" spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more. We’ll be highlighting incredible artists, cultural workers, and connectors who shaped Black artistry throughout history. From Jackie Ormes, who wrote and illustrated comics for Black newspapers like the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender, to veteran artist and musician Nona Hendryx, the 2024 series highlights some of the best and lesser known Black artistic geniuses throughout history.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Pura Belpré, folklorist, author, librarian

A full color photo of Pura Belpré standing wearing a red dress and scarf with a puppet on each hand in front of a stage with a house and a curtain. Photo Source: WikipediaPura Belpré was an Afro-Puerto Rican folklorist and author who served as the first Latina librarian in the New York Public Library system. While studying to become a teacher at the University of Puerto Rico, Belpré traveled to New York City for her sister’s wedding. She decided to stay in New York, working as a seamstress until she was recruited to work at the New York Public Library in Harlem. She became a librarian at the 115th Street Branch, serving a growing Puerto Rican community with storytelling and puppeteering. She performed the stories she learned from her grandmother in Puerto Rico and published several of them as children’s books. 

Each year, the American Library Association honors Latine children’s and young adult authors and illustrators with the Pura Belpré Award.